Saturday, 16 June 2012

China Is Secondary Target of Sanctions on Iran

The Obama administration has agreed to let numerous countries be exempt from penalties under a harsh new set of economic sanctions on Iran’s oil sector, but has refused to grant China – a major importer of Iranian oil – such exemptions.

The new round of sanctions are scheduled for June 28 and the U.S. has given waivers to India, South Korea, Turkey, and four other countries. They can now continue to do business with Iranian oil, so long as they voluntarily reduce their imports by significant margins.

China buys as much as a fifth of Iran’s crude exports and remains the one major trading partner who will still face international penalties for continuing to import Iranian oil.

The Obama administration has been ramping up the pressure on China with an increasingly antagonistic foreign policy. The so-called ‘Asia pivot’ is an aggressive policy that involves surging American military presence throughout the region – in the Philippines, Japan, Australia, Guam, South Korea, Singapore, etc. – in an unprovoked scheme to contain rising Chinese economic and military influence

After the end of the Cold War many military strategists in the US favoured the idea of maintaining the USA as the unrivaled world superpower. It is likely that US strategic thinkers want two things out of this situation- worsening relations with China, so that a new Cold War (arms race) can be created and the curtailing of China's influence in the world in general - in places such as Africa and other parts of Asia.

Note that a Cold War conflict with China may encourage business investment and western manufacturing to shift out of that country and back to the US or other places. However, whether the rest of the world (BRICS) go along with such policies is another thing.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, June 16th, 2012.]

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